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ALASKAN GLACIER STUDIES
reaches an elevation of 3857 feet, with a slope which rises at the rate of over 4000 feet to the mile. Upon this steepened slope there are several small, steeply-cascading glaciers which are no longer connected with the main ice stream.
Childs Glacier terminates close to the railway, and is seen annually by many travelers, who view it from the train at Miles Glacier station or walk down the path along the river bank west of the railway bridge. Its magnitude may be better appreciated by seeing how the capitol in Washington (PL CXLVin, B) would appear in comparison with the precipitous cliff that rises above the river, and how its ice stream (Pig. 60) compares in width with the Nisqually Glacier on Mt. Rainier, one of the largest ice
FIG. 57. CHILDS GIACIBE m 1010.
tongues in the United States, itself far larger than the greatest of the ice masses seen along the Canadian Pacific Railway in the Selkirks and Canadian Rockies.
Observations before the Building of the Railway. It is not known when or by whom the earliest observation of Childs Glacier was made, but as early as 1850 the Russian geologist Grewingk recorded1 that the Copper River crosses mountains, "the ravines of which are filled with perpetual ice; and, where the river breaks through, the ice masses are undercut, torn away, and precipitated into the river with terrific crashing." This probably applies to Childs or Miles Glacier, or both.
C. G. Holt ascended Copper River in 1882 but we have no information regarding what he saw of the glaciers.
1 Grewingk, C., Beitrag zur Kenntniss der Orograpliischen und Geognostischen Beschaffenhelt der Nord-weat-Ktlste Amerikas mit den Anliegenden Inseln, Verhandl. RUBS. Kaiserl. Mineral. Gesell. zu St. Petersburg, 1848 und 1849, pp. 54-5.